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Animation Principles Every Animator Should Follow


Animation is used in video games, television, and movies, among other media. Additionally, it’s utilized in video material, promotions, and advertisements iganony. A basic image can be transformed into an engrossing narrative with 3D animation.

For a SaaS development company to make a quality SaaS game, animation and graphics assistance are also necessary. One of the most often used tools for 3D animation is Unity 3D game development, however, producing smooth results requires an understanding of animation concepts.

In their book published in 1981, Disney animators shared their understanding of these concepts. These ideas were developed over the course of over forty years of collaboration between the two animators, Ollie and Frank.

These days, the majority of animators follow these rules, which are widely acknowledged.

In 2022, the global animation market was estimated to be worth $20.40 billion. And at a CAGR of 12.1%, it is projected to reach $51.03 billion by 2022–2030. Grandview Research, the source

Moreover, there are 12,873,916 animators employed worldwide. Remarkably, just 32% of animators hold a degree, with the remaining 68% learning on their own.

You can see how crucial it is to comprehend these ideas as a result. Let’s investigate these Principles now.

Foundations of Animation: Key Principles

First Rule: Constrict and Extend

When Tom broke into pieces after falling from a considerable height, you must have chuckled. It is the outcome of the animating principle of “squash and stretch.” This concept might help you give your characters or items a sense of scale.

First Principle – Squash and Stretch

You must have laughed when Tom fell from a great height and burst into bits. It is the result of the squash and stretches animation principle. You can use this idea to create the impression of magnitude for your characters or objects. It also contributes to the characters’ elasticity, and weight. However, while employing this technique, it is critical to maintain object volume consistency. As a result, as Tom stretches Jerry, he becomes thinner, and when he squashes, he becomes wider.

Second Principle – Anticipation

This animation approach aids the audience in preparing for the following actions. The action becomes more realistic as a result of this effect. Let’s look at a simple example: throwing a ball. It is impossible to throw the ball without bending your arms behind your back. It appears to be unrealistic.

Similarly, it would help if you instilled expectations in our character for it to appear authentic and lifelike with the help of the anticipation principle.

Third PrincipleStaging

Another crucial aspect to consider when generating animation, especially in the context of 3D animation studios, is staging. This principle revolves around emphasizing specific objects, characters, or actions to capture the audience’s attention. It involves carefully orchestrating the motion of elements within the scenario, ensuring that the focus remains on the intended subject, while lesser or no movement is allocated to less essential items.

Fourth PrincipleStraight Ahead

This approach has two parts. The first is straight ahead, and the second is from pose to posture. Straightforward technique precisely focuses on frame-by-frame creation, from beginning to end. However, the pose-to-pose techniques, first create the beginning, end, and some crucial frames, and later move to the remaining frames.

Fifth AnimationFollow through and overlapping action

Whenever you stopped a moving object, each portion of it comes to a separate stop. Similarly, each object moves at a different rate. A moving characters’ body part moves at different rates; for example their head, hands, and legs. When they come to a complete halt, their hair or hand will stop at a different rate than the actual character. It is the fifth Animation Principle Follow through and overlapping action.

Sixth PrincipleSlow in slow out

For this idea, consider an airplane that starts slowly, gradually gains speed, and then slows down before stopping. To make it more realistic and reasonable, you can add more effects in the middle part of the story. It Principle is called Slow in slow out.

Seventh PrincipleArcs

Movement rarely occurs in a straight line in real life. We can use a ball as an example. When you throw a ball, it will never go straight but will instead follow an arc until it comes to a stop tanzohub. The same is true for the characters.

Eighth PrincipleSecondary actions

Secondary actions are significant because they assist the main activity in a scene. Including supplementary acts improves the story’s expression. Take the example of the person getting scolded by the boss. He has the secondary actions to express his frustration over things.

Ninth Principle – Timing

This Principle, named ‘timing,’ is based on physical laws. According to physics, the object will return at the same speed as it went. As a result, the animator must focus on proper pacing to make things appear natural.

Tenth PrincipleThe Exaggeration

The animation sector attempts to reproduce real-life stories, but there will always be room for invention. Consider the prior scenario of Tom falling from a great height and breaking into pieces. However, we know it is not feasible. Still, the Principle of exaggeration is at work here, making us grasp the contrast between reality and the realm of animation with the help of the Exaggeration animation principle.

Eleventh PrincipleSolid Drawing

Solid Drawing Principle discusses animators’ abilities in 2D and 3D drawing. The animator should also be conscious of the weight and volume of the item. Also should understand other drawing aspects as they relate to the plot and setting. Some things cannot be changed, such as the sun’s ability to provide only light and heat.

Twelfth PrincipleAppeal 

According to the final animation principle, audience engagement is exceptionally vital. There is no purpose if your work does not appeal to them. As a result, never overcomplicate the character or design of your drawing. Work on the character’s traits first, and then begin designing it.


It doesn’t matter what your experience is. Still, with the help of these animation principles, you can create a memorable animation character. Not only do animation movies need you, but Unity 3d game development and SaaS development companies also need good 2D and 3D animators. So what are you waiting for? Brush up your skills, and you will be unstoppable.

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